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Plant of the Week: Osmanthus fragrans ‘Fudingzhu’

aka Fudingzhu Tea Olive.

Looking for an evergreen large shrub or small tree that blooms very fragrant white flowers off and on throughout the year?  Well, look no further than the Fudingzhu Tea Olive.

Tea Olive

Fudingzhu Tea Olive grows 12′ to 20′ tall and about 10′ to 15′ wide.  She’s not real fast growing.  Her habit is strongly upright and somewhat stiff.  Definitely evergreen.  Zones 7 – 9.  You can either let her grow as a shrub or limb her up into a small tree.  She’s beautiful either way.  Awesome as either a specimen or as a hedge.

But the beauty of the Tea Olive is it’s very fragrant white flowers.  It’s kinda cool that they grow along the branches at the base of the leaf/stem.

Tea Olive Blossoms

How neat is that!  Even though each individual flower is tiny, they pack a huge fragrant wallop that will delight you.  It would be a waste to plant this in an area that the fragrance can’t be enjoyed.  I’d say put it next to a window or patio or just anywhere close to the house so the fragrance can waft around you.  (yes, it does waft…)  And she’s a repeat bloomer!  No stingy once-bloomer, oh no.  This baby re-blooms about every three weeks from Spring to hard frost.  I’m getting the vapors just thinking how wonderful her fragrance would be with a bunch of her planted as a hedge.  Nature’s awesomeness at her best.

Tea Olive

Upkeep on the Tea Olive is pretty straightforward:  plant her in full sun or part shade, your choice.  I wouldn’t put her in deep shade though.  Be sure to add some compost to the hole when you plant her.  For those of you who live near the coast, good news…she’s salt tolerant.  For those of you who live in rural areas, good news for you too…deer don’t usually like her taste.  Just remember though, the more you prune her, the more of those luscious smelling flowers you’re cutting off.  So just put down the pruning shears!

Tea olives are an old Southern favorite that aren’t seen much in newer gardens.  So why don’t you plant some Southern heritage so you can enjoy her incredible fragrance.

Happy digging in the dirt!

Jeanni and Gibbs

2 thoughts on “Plant of the Week: Osmanthus fragrans ‘Fudingzhu’

  1. Hello,
    I am in cocoa beach area. How far do I have to drive if I buy a couple of Osmanthus plans and pick them up. Thanks.

    1. Hi, Jan. I’m in downtown Orlando, which is about 55 miles from Cocoa Beach. I can deliver them to you for a $5 delivery fee.

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